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'I WILL CONVERT
Our Lady's Apparitions at
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARY PUBLICATIONS
TECH NY, ILLINOIS
"It was through Mary that the salva-
tion of the world was begun and it is
through Mary that it must be consum-
mated. Mary hardly appeared at all in the
first coming of Jesus Christ, but in the
second coming. . . . Mary has to be made
known and revealed by the Holy Ghost,
in order that through Her, Jesus Christ
may be known, loved and served/'
St. Louis Marie de Montfort, ("True
"Our Lady is pleading with us to help
her save the world from the terrible results
of its own sins. The very least we can do
is to read her message. After that, we
must act upon it."
Don Sharkey, in "The Woman Shall
Nihil Obstat. Michael Noonan, S.M., S.T.D., Diocesan Censor
Imprimatur. Richard J. Cushing, Archbishop of Boston
March 12, 1955
"I WILL CONVERT SINNERS"
THE STORY OF OUR LADY'S APPARITIONS
AT BEAURAING, 1932-1933
Almost every American Catholic has
heard the story of Our Lady's appear-
ance at Lourdes in 1858.
Almost every American Catholic has
also heard the story of her apparitions at
Fatima in 1917.
Less well known, on this side of the
Atlantic, is the story of her appearances at
Beauraing (Bo rang), Belgium, in 1932
Beauraing deserves to be more widely
known in the United States. The words
which Our Lady spoke at Beauraing are
meant for all the world, not just for the
five children to whom she spoke, and not
just for the people of Europe.
Beauraing is a town of about 2,000
people in the Walloon, or French speak-
ing, part of Belgium. It is twelve miles
from the city of Dinant and five miles
from the French border.
At one time the inhabitants of the area
had been staunch Catholics, but by 1932
many of them had drifted away from the
Church. Some were merely indifferent
toward the Catholic faith; others were
hostile to it. The Socialists, who made no
secret of their opposition to the Church,
carried the district in most elections.
Gilberte Voisin, a 13 -year old girl of
Beauraing, attended a school taught by the
Sisters of the Christian Doctrine. Her fa-
ther, an official at the local railway sta-
tion, allowed her to attend this school
despite the fact that neither he nor his
wife went to church. Gilberte, a very
religious girl, had long been praying that
her parents would return to the Church.
On the evening of November 29, 1932,
Fernande and Albert Voisin started to-
ward the school to walk home with their
sister. Fernando was 15, and her brother,
Albert, was 1 1 .
They were joined by Andree Degeimbre,
14, and her sister, Gilberte, 9y>. We see,
then, that there are two Gilbertes involved
in this story. It will simplify matters if
we call them Gilberte V. and Gilberte D.
Albert was the only boy among the five.
The two older children walked arm in
arm. Albert and Gilberte D. amused
themselves by ringing the doorbells of the
houses they passed.
After a short walk, they came to the
convent where the school was located.
Just past the convent the street was crossed
by a railroad viaduct. The railroad em-
bankment ran behind the convent and
grounds. The convent was on the right
hand side of the street as the children faced
the railroad embankment. The convent
and grounds were bordered by a fence.
Just inside the fence was a garden. In the
garden was a Kourdes grotto which helped
hide the unsightly railroad embankment.
The large house which contained the con-
vent and the school stood in front of the
The children went to the front door of
the house and rang the bell. They waited
for Gilberte V. to come out.
"Look!" Albert exclaimed suddenly.
"The Blessed Virgin walking on that
The other children turned and beheld
'the figure of a Lady, dressed in a long
robe of pure white." She appeared to be
walking, or gliding, on the viaduct. Gil-
berte V. came out. She wondered what
the others were looking at so intently.
Then she, too, saw the vision.
The children ran home to tell what they
had seen. Nobody believed the story. In the
face of universal skepticism the children
stuck to their story and would not be
swayed by any outside influence. Their
minds were preoccupied with one thought:
Would they see the Lady again ?" And
there was no more ringing of doorbells.
The next night the four children again
walked to the school to meet Gilberte V.
Once more al! five of them beheld the
figure in white walking back and forth
on the railroad embankment.
The children ran into Madame Deg-
eimbre's house shouting: "We've seen her!
It is the Blessed Virgin, and she is much
more beautiful than any of her statues!"
Madame Degeimbre was furious. She
told her children that they must not go to
the convent again. c
The whole town was talking about the
apparitions. Madame Degeimbre, who was
a widow, decided that the matter must
be settled once and for all. She would
expose the people who were tricking her
children. On December 1, armed with a
big stick, she accompanied the four chil-
dren to the convent.
Scarcely had they reached the garden
when the children came face to face with
the Lady. She was near the Lourdes grot-
to this time. She was dressed entirely in
white and there were golden rays like a
diadem around her head. She appeared to
be standing on a cloud. Her feet were not
visible. She extended her arms slowly and
Madame Degeimbre, who could see
nothing, sent the four children to get Gil-
berte V. Then, with her stick, she
thrashed about in the bushes for the per-
son who was playing tricks on her chil-
As soon as the children returned from
the convent, the vision reappeared as glo-
rious as ever. A few moments later, as
the children left the convent yard, the
vision was visible at the gate. This time
the Lady appeared near the lowest branch
of a hawthorn tree, just inside the gar-
den fence. This was where she appeared
for all the remaining apparitions. Gilberte
D., the youngest of the five children was
overcome with emotion. She had to be
taken home. Gilberte V. stayed with her.
The other three children returned to the
convent, and they beheld the vision for
the fourth time that evening.
Madame Degeimbre was so struck by
the effect of the apparition on the children
that she began to waver in her doubt, but
it was not until before the last apparition
that she completely believed her children.
Monsieur Voisin searched the ground with a
torch but could find no sign of fraud. The
parents went to the parish priest, Abbe
Lambert. He advised them to discuss the
matter with no one. It was difficult to
heed this advice, because everyone was ask-
ing about the apparition.
The next day Mother Theophile, su-
perior of the convent, told the children not
to speak again of the apparitions. She also
told them to stay out of the convent
That evening the children's mothers
asked them to go to the convent to meet
Gilberte V. They could not disobey their
mothers, so they found themselves in the
garden once more. Again, they saw the
vision, this time even more clearly than
The Lady looked young, about 1 8 or
20. Her smile lighted up all her features.
Her eyes were a beautiful deep blue. She
wore a long, white, heavily pleated un-
belted dress. The children said that three
rays of blue azure draped the dress, ob-
liquely, from the left shoulder to the hem.
A rosary hung from her arm.
Albert asked, "Are you the Immaculate
The Lady smiled and nodded her head.
"What do you want?" Albert asked.
Then came the first words uttered by
Our Lady at Beauraing: "Always be
Our Lady's hands had been joined as
if in prayer. Before she left she opened
up her arms as if giving the children a fare-
well embrace. Then she disappeared.
Abbe Lambert thought the message
sounded like something the children had
thought up. He could not bring himself
to believe that the Blessed Virgin would
make such a trite remark as: "Always be
Mother Theophile ordered the gates of
the garden locked at dusk, and she put two
fierce dogs inside.
On Saturday, in obedience to the Su-
perior, the children stayed away from the
garden. They were sad because they
would not see their Lady that day. At
dusk, when Mother Theophile went out
to lock the garden gate, she found a crowd
of 150 standing in the street.
"You are wasting your time here,"
Mother Theophile said. "There is noth-
ing to see."
"What a Socialist we have in this
woman," said a member of the crowd.
"She has less belief in this business than
The next day, Mother Theophile re-
lented. She said that because the children
had obeyed her they could again come to
The apparitions continued. For the first
few apparitions in the garden, the Lady
was already visible when the children got
there. Later, she became visible after the
children had begun to recite the rosary.
They had formed the habit of saying the
rosary as soon as they arrived in the gar-
den. Each time Our Lady appeared, the
children felt themselves drawn to a kneel-
ing position, almost as if they were
thrown to their knees.
Our Lady asked the children to come
and pray to her in the evenings. Thus,
after the day's work, great crowds would
mingle with the children and witness their
rapture even if they could not see the
vision. The crowds grew constantly, and
people came even from distant parts of the
Crowds for December 8
On several occasions Our Lady told the
children that she wished them to be pres-
ent on the Feast of the Immaculate Con-
ception. Because the day had been speci-
fically mentioned, the crowd was even
larger than usual on December 8. About
15,000 people were there. No doubt
some of the people were expecting a great
sign, similar to the Miracle of the Sun at
Fatima. Nothing of that kind occurred,
but there was something interesting.
The children arrived at ten minutes
past six. They were escorted by their par-
ents and were accompanied by a number
of doctors and psychologists. The chil-
dren beheld the vision as soon as they
reached the gate. The garden was illu-
minated brightly, but the vision was much
more radiant than the electric lights.
Gilberte D. wept. Dr. Maistriaux asked
"Because she is so beautiful," Gilberte
A few seconds later the doctor asked
her another question. She failed to an-
swer. Each child was examined in turn by
different doctors. All were found to be
in a state of complete ecstasy.
Dr. Lurquin, of Houyet, held a lighted
match under Gilberte V.'s left hand. She
did not notice it. Other doctors pinched,
slapped, and pricked the five children. They
shined flashlights into their eyes. There
was no reaction.
All this time, the huge crowd was say-
ing the Rosary. As soon as they com-
pleted the last decade, Our Lady disap-
"She is gone!" cried the children. They
had tears in their eyes.
Later, Fernande said: "I could see noth-
ing, neither fence, nor tree, nor crowd:
only the Holy Virgin who smiled at us."
The doctors examined Gilberte V.'s
hand and could not find the slightest trace
of burning. When they had completed
their examination she said to her father:
"Just think of it! They tried to tell me
that they had pricked and burned me!"
On December 1 7, Our Lady asked for
a chapel. She said she wished the chapel
"in order that people might come here on
Four days later she said: "I am the
A few days after that she said: "Soon
I shall appear for the last time."
On December 29, the Blessed Virgin
opened her arms in the usual gesture of
farewell. In doing so, she revealed in the
region of her chest a Heart of Gold, sur-
rounded by glittering rays. This was the
Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God.
This Heart was displayed in all the re-
maining apparitions at Beauraing.
The next evening Our Lady said:
Pray. Pray very much."
On January 1, she said to Gilberte V. :
On January 2, she said: "Tomorrow
I will speak to each one of you sepa-
A great crowd was on hand for the
last appearance, January 3, 1933. Four
of the children gave a joyous shout as
the apparition began. Fernande sobbed
because she could not see the vision.
As she had promised, Our Lady talked
to each child separately.
To Andree, she said: "I am the Mother
of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray Al-
To Gilberte V. Our Lady made a great
promise: "I will convert sinners. Good-
To Albert and to Gilberte D. she sim-
ply said: "Goodbye."
When the vision was over, Fernande,
who was grief stricken at not seeing her
Lady, remained kneeling. Suddenly, she
heard a crashing noise, and she saw a
great ball of fire on the tree. Then she
saw the Blessed Virgin.
"Do you love my Son?" Our Lady
"Do you love me?"
"Then, sacrifice yourself for me."
She extended her arms in the usual fare-
well gesture. she did so, she shone
more brightly than ever. She showed Fer-
nande her Heart.
Then, she said: "Goodbye."
Fernande wept because she was sure
that she would never again in this world
see the beautiful vision of Our Lady.
Afterward, the three youngest children
said that Our Lady had told each of
them a personal message which they might
not tell to anyone, not even to each other.
REACTIONS — CURES
The story of the apparitions caused a
sensation all over Europe. Some authori-
ties said the children were frauds. Others
said they were victims of hallucinations.
In 1934 and 1935, a number of books
and magazine articles were written for the
purpose of "exposing" Beauraing. Through
all this, the great majority of the people
and the clergy believed the story of the
children. Many pilgrimages were made to
the site of apparitions.
Gradually, doubt and skepticism disap-
peared as the facts of the story became
known and as the results were observed.
The children remained in Beauraing
and led lives as close to normal as was
possible under the circumstances. They
visited the hawthorn tree each day to say
the Rosary. Often they were besieged by
pilgrims, by curiosity seekers, and by those
who had come to scoff. They bore such
ordeals with amazing patience.
After the Bishop set up an Episcopal
Commission to investigate the events, the
children underwent long and severe ex-
aminations. They once had to appear be-
fore a "tribunal" of 90 doctors. In the
course of the investigation, the children
never varied their stories and they never
contradicted each other when interviewed
Pilgrims came from the very beginning,
even in the period when it was so fash-
ionable to "expose" Beauraing. There
were two million pilgrims the first year.
On a single Sunday, 25,000 people re-
ceived Communion in the parish church.
Many cures were reported by pilgrims.
There was Miss Maria Van Laer, for ex-
Miss Van Laer was a patient in a hos-
pital conducted by the Franciscan Sisters
of the Holy Family, in Turnhout, Bel-
gium. She had been a helpless invalid for
16 of her 33 years. Hers was a tubercular
condition. Her spinal column was de-
formed, one of her legs was diseased, and
she had large tumors which had developed
into open sores. The doctors said that an
operation would be fatal, and they held
out no hope for her recovery.
Against the wishes of her family and
the Franciscan Sisters, Miss Van Laer was
taken to Beauraing on June 24, 1933.
Her stretcher was taken to the hawthorn
tree where she remained for some time.
Then she visited the Degeimbre home. Dur-
ing a second visit to the hawthorn tree,
she said she was feeling better. She slept
in the ambulance on the way home. When
she reached Turnhout, at midnight, she
awoke and found herself cured. No pains,
no tumors, no sores, and no deformities!
Today, Miss Van Laer is Sister Pudentia
of the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Fam-
ily and is well able to carry out her ardu-
ous duties as a nurse.
Miss Van Laer's cure was one of those
investigated by the Episcopal Commission
which the Bishop appointed to investigate
the events at Beauraing. In 1949, Bishop
Charue declared the cure to be an authen-
More important than the physical cures
are the spiritual cures. Among the earliest
of the converts were the parents of the
Voisin children; they returned to the sac-
raments after an absence of many years.
Here is one of the most famous of the
A young man gave up his faith and
became a Communist. He was made editor
of the Belgian Communist newspaper, "Le
Drapeau Rouge" (The Red Flag). Dur-
ing the war he was arrested by the Ger-
mans, and since the Nazis had little use
for the Communists, his life was in grave
danger. His mother had never ceased to
pray that he would come back to the
Church. After he was arrested, she knelt
in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother
and prayed: "I was never able to do much
with him. I do not ask you, good Mother,
to see him alive, but please give him the
grace to die in the Church. I give you my
son. Do with him as you see fit!"
In prison, the young man remembered
the Blessed Virgin and promised to return
to the faith if he were liberated. He was
freed, but he did not keep his promise.
He was imprisoned again and freed again.
Still he did not return to the faith.
In September, 1945, the young man
was haunted by the thought that he
should visit Beauraing. He tried to banish
the thought, but he could not do so. He
gave in and went to Beauraing, although
he did not have the least bit of faith. He
stood in the enclosure, facing the haw-
thorn, unable to pray. Suddenly, he was
thrown to the ground. "I was trying to
protect myself from the fall," he said,
"and I fell, hanging onto the back of the
last bench. For a long time I saw noth-
ing but the figure of Our Lady in the
hawthorn. A complete transformation
was produced in me. I cried over my past
life. But I also cried for joy, conscious
that something new had entered my soul/'
The following day the former Com-
munist editor went to confession and re-
ceived Holy Communion. He now re-
ceives Communion every day. He is a
fervent tertiary of St. Dominic, and was
in one of the first Legion of Mary groups
Many other conversions have been re-
ported among people from many different
countries These conversions are called
"The Great Invisible Treasure of Beau-
raing." They recall Our Lady's promise:
"I will convert sinners/'
THE CHURCH'S ATTITUDE
In 1 935, the Bishop of Namur, the dio-
cese in which Beauraing is located, ap-
pointed an Episcopal Commission to in-
vestigate the events. The Bishop died, and
the investigation continued under his suc-
cessor, Bishop Andre-Marie Charue.
Bishop Charue received from Rome a
decree dated December 7, 1942, and ap-
proved by Pope Pius XII, which granted
him complete liberty to proceed toward
On February 2, 1943, the Bishop pub-
lished a decree which authorized public
devotions to "Our Lady of Beauraing."
This was during the dark days when the
Germans were occupying Belgium, and
the people took great comfort from the
On May 16 of the same year, Bishop
Charue solemnly inaugurated this devo-
tion at a great ceremony attended by
24,000 people. This was a large crowd
for war days.
The Bishop blessed a large statue of Our
Lady of Beauraing on August 22, 1946,
the Feast of the Immaculate Heart. The
statue stands under the hawthorn tree,
where Our Lady had appeared.
Pilgrimages of Penance
Pope Pius XII granted a private inter-
view to the Bishop of Namur on July 18,
1947. He gave his blessing to the Sanc-
tuary and the pilgrimages of penance.
These pilgrimages are held on the second
and third Sundays of each month, from
May to November. The pilgrims walk 12
miles to Beauraing, praying as they go.
The cornerstone of the chapel was laid
on the Feast of the Imaculate Heart, 1947,
and the chapel was consecrated August
21, 1954. This is the chapel which Our
Lady requested. It is near the place of
the apparitions, and with its confessionals,
gives Our Lady the opportunity to con-
The hawthorn tree is surrounded by
bronze railings which serve as a gigantic
votive candle stand. Beneath the tree is
the statue of Our Lady of Beauraing, the
Virgin with a Golden Heart. An open
air altar stands on the spot where the
Lourdes grotto used to be.
The Pro Maria Committee has bought
the old feudal castle which stands on a
hill above the village. The castle is being
used as a retreat house, and a beautiful
basilica will be built on the grounds.
On July 2, 1949, the Bishop released
two important documents relating to
Beauraing. One was an episcopal decree
recognizing as authentic miracles two of
the many cures credited to Our Lady of
Beauraing. One was the cure of Miss Van
Laer, about whom we have read. The
other was the cure of Mrs. Acar who was
cured of a tumor of the womb on July
The other document of July 2, 1949
was a letter from the Bishop to the clergy
of his diocese. The Bishop said: "We are
able in all serenity and prudence to affirm
that the Queen of Heaven appeared to
the children of Beauraing during the win-
ter of 1932-33 especially to show us in
her maternal Heart the anxious appeal for
prayer and the promise of her powerful
mediation for the conversion of sinners/'
Development of the Cult
The story of Beauraing spread rapidly
throughout Belgium and then through-
out other parts of northern Europe. Pil-
grimages of penance are made twice a
month. Other regular pilgrimages come
from the Netherlands, France, and Ger-
many. The total number of pilgrims each
year is approximately 1,000,000.
Very slowly, the story of Beauraing is
also becoming known throughout the rest
of the free world. Since 1950, the story
has been told in numerous Catholic maga-
zines and newspapers in the United States,
Canada, India, and other places. The first
official pilgrimage from the United States
arrived at Beauraing in September, 1953.
An organization has been started to
spread the Message of Our Lady of Beau-
raing in the United States: the Pro Maria
Committee, Rev. Joseph Debergh, OMI,
Director, 725 Merrimack St., Lowell,
Massachusetts. The first public shrine to
Our Lady of Beauraing in the U. S. was
dedicated at Flint, Michigan. June 9, 1955.
* * *
What of the Five Children of Beauraing?
All five are married and are living quiet-
ly with their families. Some authorities
believe that in the five "children" Our
Lady wishes to give us models of family
life and that she also wishes to emphasize
the role of the lay people in carrying out
Andree D. and Gilberte V. both live in
Beauraing. One or both can be seen lead-
ing the Rosary every night at the shrine.
Andree has three children. Gilberte has
two. Gilberte's husband, a state police-
man, was killed in an accident in April,
1953. He was a daily communicant.
Gilberte D. lives in Brussels. She has
two children. Fernande V. lives in Namur
and has five children.
Albert has two children. He lives in
the Belgian Congo where he is helping to
train native teachers.
All five have great devotion to the
Blessed Mother, and they are bringing up
their children to have devotion to her
also. All five shun the limelight. They
are not important, they say. They were
merely the instruments through which
Our Lady gave her message to the world.
Why did Our Lady appear at Beau-
The broad answer to that question is
simple: She appeared at Beauraing for the
same reason that she appeared at Lourdes,
at Fatima, and many other places: to save
souls. She wishes to help us save our
souls, and she wishes to enlist our help in
saving the souls of others.
Saints and mystics and theologians are
agreed on this: the shortest, surest way to
God is through Mary. That is because of
the unique position she occupies as Mother
of God, Mother of all mankind, Queen of
Heaven, and Mediatrix of all Graces.
The important part that Mary plays
in our salvation is not well enough under-
stood. Many Catholics look upon devo-
tion to Our Lady as something that has
been added to Christian life. They look
upon it as an accessory, a very helpful ac-
cessory to be sure, but one that we could,
strictly speaking, do without.
The truth is that we depend upon Mary
for our supernatural life just as a child
depends on his earthly mother for his
natural life. St. Louis Marie de Mont-
fort says that "all the predestinate . . .
are hidden in the womb of the most holy
Virgin, where they are guarded, nour-
ished, and made to grow by that good
Mother until she has brought them forth
to glory after death."
At Beauraing Mary reminds us of her
great power, of her great love for us, and
of our dependence on her.
She wears a diadem, a symbol of her
power. She shows her golden Heart, a
symbol of her boundless mother-love.
She says: "I am the Immaculate Virgin
. . . I am the Mother of God, the Queen
of the Heavens. I will convert sinners."
What a tremendous meaning is packed
into those few words.
And how important to our salvation!
Lourdes, Fatima and Beauraing.
They are connected like three links in
a chain, or like three chapters in a book.
At each place Our Lady asked for a
chapel. At Beauraing she specifically
asked for pilgrimages. These shrines are
visited by millions of pilgrims each year.
The number of spiritual cures at the three
shrines cannot be estimated. The amount
of religious fervor that is generated cannot
be computed in statistics. The shrines are
having a profound effect upon Europe and
upon the world.
Bishop Theas of Lourdes says that the
apparitions at Lourdes and those at Beau-
raing should be studied together. He
points out that purity was emphasized at
Lourdes and that the Heart of Gold at
Beauraing symbolizes love. "Purity and
love. That is what explains the Heart of
the Blessed Virgin/ '
It is also true that the apparitions at
Fatima and those at Beauraing should be
studied together. The similarities between
the two series of appearances are striking.
In many ways, the Message of Beauraing
is a repetition of the Message of Fatima.
In other ways, the Message of Beauraing
is an extension of the Message of Fatima.
What specific requests does Our Lady
make at Beauraing?
They are the same requests she has
made many times in the last century: 1)
Prayer; 2) Sacrifice; 3) Devotion to her
Immaculate Heart. Through these prac-
tices we can help to save our own souls,
and we can help Mary save the souls of
PRAYER: At both Lourdes and Fati-
ma Our Lady said "Pray for sinners."
At Beauraing she said: "Pray . . . Pray a
great deal . . . Pray always."
The Rosary is a powerful form of
prayer and one that Our Lady loves. She
emphasized this devotion at Lourdes by
allowing the rosary to slip through her
fingers while Bernadette said the prayers.
At Fatima she said: "Say the Rosary
every day/' When asked who she was,
she said: "I am the Lady of the Rosary."
At Beauraing Our Lady did not men-
tion the Rosary but she wore one, and she
usually appeared while the children were
saying the Rosary. It is evident that she
wishes to stress the Rosary and that she
wishes to encourage its recitation.
SACRIFICE: Under "sacrifice" are in-
cluded penance and reparation. We make
sacrifices in order to offer penance for our
own sins and reparation for the sins of
others. Our Lady has repeatedly asked
for sacrifice, for penance, and for repara-
During one of the apparitions at
Lourdes, Bernadette turned toward the
crowd and repeated Our Lady's request
for "Penitence! Penitence!"
At Fatima Our Lady repeatedly asked
The last words of Our Lady at Beau-
raing were: "Do you love my Son? Do
you love me? Then sacrifice yourself for
DEVOTION TO THE IMMACU-
LATE HEART: At Fatima Our Lady
said: "God wishes to establish in the
world devotion to my Immaculate Heart."
She referred to her Immaculate Heart
again and again. She asked that Russia
be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.
She asked for the devotion of the Five
First Saturdays in reparation to her Im-
maculate Heart. She said that some day
her Immaculate Heart would triumph,
that Russia would be converted and that
a period of peace would be given to the
At Beauraing it seemed that Our Lady
wished to remind the world once more
of the importance of devotion to the Im-
maculate Heart. She did by showing her
Immaculate Heart as a Heart of Gold.
The Feast of the Immaculate Heart,
August 22, is the day of the biggest cere-
monies at Beauraing.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of
Beauraing is Mary's promise: "I will con-
She has mentioned sin in almost all her
apparitions of the past century. At La
Salette in 1846, she wept over the sins of
the world and said she could no longer
keep her Son from punishing the world.
At Lourdes, she sometimes looked sad be-
cause of sin. At Fatima she said: "Many
souls go to hell because they have no one
to pray and make sacrifices for them."
She also forecast dire calamities that would
overtake the world if people did not re-
At Beauraing Mary did not look sad,
and she did not foretell calamities. At
Beauraing she was the merciful Mother.
She simply made the promise: "I will
convert sinners." There were no condi-
tions to this. (Although we know she
will be able to convert more sinners if
she has our prayers and sacrifices.)
"I will convert sinners."
In a world which seems crushed under
the burden of its own sins what promise
could be more consoling?
Our Lady of Beauraing, Pray for us!
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF
Our Lady of Beauraing, Immaculate
Virgin, ever victorious in all thy battles
for the kingdom of God, we beseech thee,
convert sinners, as thou hast promised.
Exercise in their behalf the power of
thy Immaculate Heart! Bring back to the
love of God all souls who, deprived of
sanctifying grace, stand in danger of eter-
O Heavenly Mother, cast thine eyes of
mercy on thy poor children, and be our
Help in all tribulations! Be thou the
Health of the sick and Comforter of the
Queen of Heaven, crowned with eternal
glory, our love and our gratitude pro-
claim thee also Queen of our hearts and
Sovereign of the world. We shall work
for the extension of thy kingdom in our-
selves, by sacrifice and imitation of thy
virtues; and around us by frequent prayers
and good works.
Mayest thou reign over the whole world
and spread everywhere the kingdom of thy
Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Our Father .... Hail Mary .... Glory be to
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us
Our Lady of Beauraing, convert sinners
Queen of the Golden Heart, help the sick.
MARIAN UNION OF BEAURAING
(Association of Prayers)
During Her many apparitions at Beauraing in
1932-33, the Blessed Virgin instantly invited us
to prayer: "Pray, Pray very much, Pray Always."
To answer Her appeal, an Association of
Prayers : 'Our Lady of Beauraing" was founded
immediately. Following the recognition of the de-
votion, February 2, 1943, this Association re-
doubled in fervor and currently numbers thousands
of adherents scattered throughout the world and
united, through this Association, to the prayers
which are said daily, and most particularly at
night, at the foot of the Hawthorn.
The daily spiritual obligations of the Associates
have been reduced to a minimum and consist of
a) either 3 Hail Marys, with the invocation:
"Our Lady of Beauraing, convert sin-
ners — You have promised us." (1st
b) or 1 decade of the Rosary, followed by
the same invocation. (2nd degree).
c) or the 3 Angelus, followed by the same
invocation. (3rd degree).
All Associates are invited to sanctify the first
Saturday of each month by assisting at Mass, re-
ceiving Holy Communion, and reciting the Rosary
for the conversion of sinners.
The sick and invalids are encouraged to offer
their daily sufferings for the extension of the reign
of the Blessed Virgin in the world and for the
conversion of sinners.
The habitual intentions of the Associates are the
a) The conversion of sinners.
b) All the intentions recommended at Beau-
1 . The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Bene-
diction of the Blessed Sacrament celebrated
at the Shrine the first Saturday of each
month will be offered for the conversion of
sinners and for the intentions of the pro-
moters and Associates of the Marian Union.
2. Every day, the priests at Beauraing will
have, at Mass, a special memento for the
spiritual intentions of the Associates of the
3. The members may signify their particular
intentions to the Pro Maria Committee of
Lowell, Mass. The Committee in turn will
recommend their intentions to the prayers
of the pilgrims at the Shrine.
4. For the deceased: The Associates, of whose
death the Committee is notified, will be
recommended in a particular way at the
Masses said at the Shrine, and will be
recommended to the prayers of the readers
of "La Voix de Beauraing," the official pub-
lication of the Shrine.
There are no dues for membership in this
MARIAN UNION OF BEAURAING. For en-
rollment in this Association of Prayers, as well as
for folder depicting Our Lady of Beauraing statues,
medals, holy pictures, post cards, etc., please write
to: Miss Doris M. Poisson. Secretary, PRO MARIA
COMMITTEE, 22 Second Avenue. Lowell, Mass.
Rev. Joseph Debergh, OMI
Director, Pro Maria Committee
725 Merrimack Street
Authorizing the Cult to Our Lady of Beauraing
By virtue of the decree of the Holy Office,
dated December 7, 1942, granting Us power to
express Our judgment freely on the case of Beau-
raing, in Our capacity of Ordinary thereof and of
Our own authority;
By virtue of the notice of the diocesan Commis-
sion, which, following the first decree of the Holy
Office, dated May 30th, 1942, has resumed investi-
gation of the case;
Whereas no decisive objection was stated against
the supernatural and divine character of what are
designated as the apparitions of the Most Blessed
Virgin to the children of Beauraing; but, on the
contrary, the conjectures in favor of this super-
natural and divine character seem very serious and
the passing of the years has contributed only in
making these conjectures more impressive;
Considering the current of sincere and deep devo-
tion which has drawn the faithful toward Beau-
raing during the past ten years — and the
numerous, often outstanding and even marvelous
conversions, plus the many favors, both spiritual
and otherwise, all linked to the event of Beau-
raing — the perfect orthodox character, simul-
taneously real, from a doctrinal point of view, and
beneficial, of the Message of Beauraing;
Having prayed the Holy Ghost and entreated
the Virgin of Mediation, full of grace, to assist
We have decided and do decide as follows;
1 . We allow the carrying on, in our diocese, of
public devotions to Our Lady of Beauraing,
that is, the intercession of Our Lady under
that name, emphasizing the meaning of the
emblems and words associated with the vi-
sions to the children of Beauraing and the
organization of religious ceremonies near the
hawthorn of the Apparitions.
It remains, however, forbidden to publish
articles relating to the incident of Beauraing,
to propagate pictures, tableaux, statues,
medals, etc. of Our Lady of Beauraing.
without obtaining Our authorization.
2. Anxious to comply with the customary ex-
treme cautiousness of the Church in such
matters, We reserve Our definite judgment on
the facts of Beauraing and on their character.
3. These decisions are valuable only regarding
what we customarily call the apparitions to
the children of Beauraing.
Bishop of Namur
Given at Namur, February 19, 1943
On the Subject of the Cures of Miss Van Laer
and Mrs. Acar
Andre-Marie Charue, bv the Grace of God and
the Holy Apostolic See, Bishop of Namur
By virtue of the power conferred on Us by the
decree of the Holy Office, on December 7, 1942,
according Us the faculty of bringing Our judg-
ment to bear on the case of Beauraing, in Our ca-
pacity as Ordinary thereof and of Our own au-
Having seen the reports of the canonical Com-
mission appointed by Us for the study of the cures
of Miss Van Laer of Turnhout (in religion, Sister
Pudentia of the Congregation of the Franciscan
Sisters of the Holy Family) and of Mrs. Acar, nee
Maric-Madelcinc Group, of St. Nicholas (Waes) ,
in which are contained numerous testimonies
judged worthy of belief, as well as some conclu-
sions of medical experts having been able freely
and separately to express their opinions about the
nature of the said cures;
Having considered that these attestations where
the value and the authority of the reasons are in-
disputable, prove, with the evidence, that Miss Van
Laer and Mrs. Acar suffered from extremely grave
diseases and that they had been cured instantly,
perfectly and absolutely beyond curative power in
case at issue to account for these sudden unexpected
Whereas it has therefore been demonstrated that
these cures assume the natjure of supernatural
1. That Miss Marie Van Laer who, for six-
teen years, suffered from a serious disease, deemed
incurable, of a tubercular nature, or more probably
staphylococcic, in the region of the cervical vertebra
and in the right leg, which had progressed to the
final stage, has been immediately and absolutely
cured on the twenty-fourth of June, 1933, on the
day after a pilgrimage made to Beauraing for the
purpose of obtaining a cure;
2. That Mrs. Acar-Group suffered from a
myoma of the matrix, duly diagnosed by the at-
tending physician, and found herself cured im-
mediately and absolutely on July 30, 1933, on
returning home from a pilgrimage made with the
purpose of obtaining a cure.
Consequently, using Our power as Ordinary and
taking into consideration the accounts and verdicts
already sent Us by the diocesan Commission
charged with canonical inquiry:
Having invoked the Holy Name of God;
We have judged and do judge, We have declared
and do declare that the cures of Miss Van Laer and
Mrs. Acar-Group are miraculous and that in view
of circumstances in which they have taken place,
they ought to be attributed to a special interven-
tion of God through the intercession of Our Lady
And let Our present judgment and Our declara-
tion be made public for the honor of God, the
glory of Our Lady, and the edification of the
Given at Namur, this second of July, 1949, on
the Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady.
Bishop of Namur
by the order of:
F. TOUSSAINT, Prosecretary
LETTER TO THE CLERGY OF THE
Reverend and Dear Confreres:
The publication of the decree which you have
just read marks a decisive date in the history of
the devotion to Our Lady of Beauraing.
As you know, when we officially permitted this
devotion, our declaration enforced strict reserva-
tions: we deemed that the moment had not yet
come for us to pronounce "upon the reality and
the supernatural character of the facts." Since
then, the reasons for hesitation have considerably
decreased and we are able to say before God that
the signs are not lacking to satisfy us personally
of the foolish character of the prudent reserves
made at the beginning. But we looked forward to
the hour when we would be able to publish our
final approval. That hour, we think, has come.
The happy termination of the reports of the dioce-
san doctrinal Commission permits us to declare the
miraculous nature of the two cures obtained
through the intercession of Our Lady of Beau-
raing, occurring in the months which followed the
events at Beauraing, among many other cases of
spiritual and temporal favors, and at the height of
a movement of Marian fervor which has subsisted
to this day, these miraculous cures constitute the
final element which wins our conviction of the
supernatural character of the events.
We give thanks for it to God and to the Most
Holy Virgin: we are able in all serenity and pru-
dence to affirm that the Queen of Heaven ap-
peared to the children of Beauraing during the
winter of 1932-1933, especially to show us in her
maternal Heart the anxious appeal for prayer
and the promise of her powerful mediation for
the conversion of sinners.
We, ourselves, marveling at the providential
guidance which has led us after seven years to
this final stage of the case, have signed this docu-
ment with all the ardor of our heart and with the
assurance that our entire diocese will join in our
thanksgiving. In the name of all our people we
again tell Our Lady with a growing confidence:
Among us you are Queen; we are yours.
Please believe, venerable and dear confreres, our
sentiments of spiritual and affectionate devotion,
in Our Savior and Our Lady.
Namur, July 2, 1949, on the Feast of the Vis-
itation of Our Lady.
Bishop of Namur
This is a reproduction of the official
Beauraing statue. The cover picture
is not Our Lady of Beauraing.
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